Gov. Chris Gregoire announced that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will move forward with construction of two 64-car Home style vessels and will not build a smaller 50-car vessel. WSDOT no longer plans to build a 50-car Steilacoom II style vessel, which was originally intended to fill the gap in service until the two Island Homes were built. Instead, WSDOT reached agreement with to extend the lease on one of the County’s ferries until new vessels can be built for the route.
The Steilacoom II will return to in September 2008 and its sister ship, the 50-car
Christine Anderson, will serve the Port Townsend/Keystone route until the first new
Home style ferry is ready for service in spring 2010.
WSDOT is working toward building five new ferries – three 144-car vessels and two new 60-car Home style vessels. The design and construction of five boats nearly simultaneously is a first for the state’s ferry system in more than 30 years. The state will advance the advertisements of the Home-style construction to July 2008. The first vessel will be completed by spring 2010, with the second vessel following in fall 2010.
The Island Home is a ferry operated by the Nantucket Steamship Company in .